Kentucky invader Bizzy Caroline worked on the Hollywood Park turf for the first time Sunday for the $250,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies Saturday, July 16 and fired a bullet.
Bizzy Caroline was timed in 47.80 seconds for four furlongs under Rafael Bejarano, who will ride her for the first time in the Grade I test at 1 ¼ miles on grass.
“She galloped out five furlongs in a minute,” said Alan Shell, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek. “Rafael loved her.”
Bizzy Caroline comes off a victory in the Grade III Regret Stakes on the Churchill Downs turf June 18, her third consecutive grass victory.
“She worked better on turf than on Cushion Track,” said Shell in reference to a five-furlong drill in 1:02.20 here July 2. The Kentucky-bred filly is a homebred owned by Catesby Clay.
Cambina, another American Oaks candidate, also worked four furlongs on turf and was timed in 49.40.
Trainer Jeff Bonde said that Martin Garcia, who won the race last year on Harmonious, would be aboard Cambina for the first time. The Irish-bred filly finished third in both the Senorita Stakes and Honeymoon Handicap after three straight stakes wins on the Santa Anita turf.
Trainer John Shirrreffs, who sent out Harmonious to victory last year, said that both Star Billing and Nereid would start in the American Oaks.
Star Billing, winner of the Senorita and runner-up in the Honeymoon, will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario. Regular rider Joe Talamo will be back aboard Nereid in her stakes bow in quest of a third straight win.
The two fillies completed drills Saturday with six-furlong works on Cushion Track. Star Billing was timed in 1:12.60; Nereid in 1:13.40.
Entrustment, runner-up in the Senorita and fourth-place finisher in the Honeymoon, also worked six furlongs Saturday, in 1:12.80. Alonso Quinonez has the call back for trainer Paddy Gallagher.
Also nominated are Dynamo, Hard Sun, Love Theway You are, Up In Time and the New York-based trio of Royal Delta, Mystical Star and Naples Bay.
TANDA, CHURCH CAMPS DRILL FIVE FURLONGS FOR A GLEAM
Tanda worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 Sunday for the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap for fillies and mares Saturday.
“She worked great; we’re all set,” said trainer Dan Hendricks of the 4-year-old filly for the Grade II at seven furlongs on Cushion Track. The A Gleam is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
Hendricks hopes that Tanda will duplicate the form of her last stakes win in the seven-furlong Railbird last year. Victor Espinoza, who won the race for the fourth time in eight years in 2010 aboard Sweet August Moon, will ride the filly for the first time.
Trainer Brian Koriner, who won his first A Gleam last year with Sweet August Moon, will try again with Church Camp, who worked five furlongs in 1:01.80. Riding arrangements are still pending for the Santa Lucia Stakes winner.
Other probable starters include Milady Handicap winner Ultra Blend (David Flores), Texas invader Shotgun Gulch (Mike Smith), Bayakoa Handicap winner Washington Bridge (Joe Talamo) and at least two of the Bob Baffert-trained quintet of American Lady, American Story, Excellent News, Fund Raiser and Irish Gypsy.
On Saturday, Ultra Blend worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 for trainer Art Sherman, while Washington Bridge drilled the same distance in 1:00.80 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Shotgun Gulch, winner of the Grade I Madison Stakes at Keeneland in April, was vanned from Lone Star Park last week by owner-breeder C.R. Trout to trainer Bruce Jackson at Santa Anita.
ACCLAMATION MAY RUN IN SUNSET; QUARTET WORKS HERE
A work at Santa Anita Monday is expected to clarify the status of Acclamation for the $100,000 Sunset Handicap on closing day, July 17.
Acclamation, who has already won the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap and Grade II Jim Murray Memorial Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf for the second year in a row, would rule a heavy favorite in the Grade III test at 1 ½ miles on grass.
Joe Talamo has the return call on the 5-year-old California-bred for trainer Don Warren. The Old English Rancho homebred has shown a preference for the Inglewood lawn, winning five times in eight tries.
Four other Sunset nominees worked Sunday. Chilean import Ashtar worked one mile on turf in 1:42.40 under jockey Martin Pedroza for his United States debut for trainer Ruben Cardenas.
Celtic New Year, runner-up to Acclamation in the Whittingham, worked seven furlongs in 1:25.20 on Cushion Track to the satisfaction of trainer John Sadler. Victor Espinoza has the call back.
Restless Soul, a 7-year-old mare in the Neil Drysdale stable, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:16.20. Atticus Jack worked five furlongs on the main track in 1:01.
Victorian Prince, winner of a 1 ¼-mile turf race here on June 9, is another probable starter under jockey Alonso Quinonez for trainer Steve Knapp.
MILLER SEEKS TWO-YEAR-OLD STAKES SWEEP
Trainer Peter Miller is gunning for a sweep of 2-year-olds stakes at six furlongs next weekend. Woebegon looms as a leading threat in the $100,000 Landaluce for fillies on Saturday while Majestic City should rule as the favorite in the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship July 17.
Majestic City is unbeaten in two starts and comes off a facile score in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs June 12. “According to the Beyer figures for his races, his are the fastest,” said Miller of the City Zip colt.
“He will work Monday,” said Miller of Majestic City, who will again be ridden by David Flores. Miller also plans to enter a maiden, Hurry Home Clover, with Garrett Gomez.
Woebegon, an impressive 3 ¼-length winner in her debut at five furlongs June 26, worked five furlongs in 1:00 Sunday with jockey Martin Pedroza.
“She did it very easily and came home in 24 flat,” said Miller, who won the Landaluce with Pinata under Pedroza in 2006.
Miller said he also plans to enter Stayclassysandiego, whom he claimed for $40,000 out of a 4 ½-furlong maiden win here June 10. Stayclassysandiego worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.
The Miller duo in the Landaluce will be challenged by Cinderella Stakes winner Killer Graces (Joe Talamo), Cinderella runner-up Chloe W (Rafael Bejarano) and maiden winner Mighty Caroline (Joel Rosario).
Competition in the Grade III Juvenile is expected to include maiden winners Night Tide (Martin Garcia) and Pend Oreille (Rafael Bejarano).
BAFFERT NEARS FIRST MEET TITLE
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert moved closer to his first Hollywood Park Spring/Summer title after a “Dude-acta,” a one-two finish by First Dude and Game On Dude in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Saturday.
“Isn’t that amazing?” said Baffert Sunday of the Hollywood crown after opening a nine-race lead with his 34th win heading into the final week of the meet. “I’ve never run that many at this meet, but everything just seemed to work out this year.”
Baffert has won multiple titles at the four other major meets on the Southern California circuit: Santa Anita, Del Mar, Oak Tree and the Hollywood Autumn session.
Baffert said that both Dudes came out of the race in good shape and will be headed to Del Mar to see how they work on Polytrack. Marty Wygod, co-owner of Twirling Candy—who finished third in a three-way photo—said the 4-year-old colt would be readied for a possible rematch in the $1-million Pacific Classic August 28.
FINISH LINES—Owner-breeder Madeline Auerbach reported that trainer Barry Abrams was released to his home in Arcadia Friday night after undergoing surgery for throat cancer Tuesday at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. “He’s doing great,” said Auerbach of the 57-year-old trainer who has been busy texting on the phone… Garrett Gomez will be at Delaware Park Saturday to ride Blind Luck for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap in a much anticipated clash with Havre de Grace. Blind Luck was assigned 122 pounds, Havre de Grace 124. Tony Matos, agent for Gomez, said he will also ride Roddickton in the Sussex and Macho Friend in the R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial stakes on the undercard…Trainer Carl O’Callaghan was delighted with a four-furlong work in 47.80 by multiple stakes-winning sprinter Kinsale King in preparation for the Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 31…Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally turns 79 Monday, the same day that fellow conditioners Rafael Martinez and Charles Treece reach 71 and 53, respectively. Jockey Joy Scott celebrates her 53rd birthday Wednesday. Trainer George Papaprodromou also has a Wednesday birthday, his 35th. Trainer J. Buenaventura Vargas turns 51 Thursday.
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